I think there are plenty of examples of science fiction that looks back on history. In the case of Firefly/Serenity, most of the artifacts from Earth That Was are presumed lost either in the flight from Earth or in the war. The collector of old things that we see in the episode Trash is collecting from our future, but he still has an interest in the past. Stargate is completely obsessed with history: its central character is an Egyptologist.